BBC News – Arrests over Luis Michael Training football apprenticeship probe
Arrests over Luis Michael Training football apprenticeship probe
16 May 2012 Last updated at 17:58
The period being investigated spans 2009-2011
Three men have been arrested in raids in south Wales and north west England as part of an alleged £1.6m fraud probe into football club apprenticeship schemes.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it is investigating Luis Michael Training Ltd (LMT), formerly based in Newport.
The men from Cardiff, Chepstow and Heywood, Greater Manchester, were due to be released on unconditional bail.
The defunct firm is being probed over alleged false claims, said the SFO.
SFO investigators together with officers from four police forces covering Gwent, South Wales, Greater Manchester and Merseyside searched homes and a business property in Southport as part of the inquiry.
A statement from SFO said LMT had been involved in the enrolment, assessment and verification for apprenticeships and NVQ programmes for young people working in community sport, mainly through football clubs and coaching companies.
It received funding via colleges for each apprentice enrolled and placed with an employer.
The colleges were, in turn, funded through a government scheme overseen by the Skills Funding Agency.
The period being investigated spans 2009-2011 and it is estimated that alleged fraudulent claims made to a number of colleges was in excess of £1.6m, said the SFO.
A 51-year old man was arrested in Cardiff with a 52-year old man arrested in Chepstow and a 29-year old man in Heywood, Manchester.
Two of the men have been interviewed and released without charge on unconditional bail.
A third man is still being interviewed but will similarly be released without charge on unconditional bail, said the SFO.
It said the search operation on Wednesday morning involved 52 SFO investigators and 20 police officers.
The case was taken on by the SFO last September after being referral by Gwent Police.
Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager
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